Tree of Lights gives hope and time of relfection to community

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
East Hartford - posted Wed., Dec. 11, 2013
Mayor Marcia Leclerc joins East Hartford Woman’s Club members - Event Chair Kathy Kurniawan, Beautification Committee Chair Patricia Sirois and Human Needs Fund Coordinator Beth Harlow - gathered around the commemorative Christmas tree in front of the Town Hall with supporters. Photo by Lisa Stone.
Mayor Marcia Leclerc joins East Hartford Woman’s Club members - Event Chair Kathy Kurniawan, Beautification Committee Chair Patricia Sirois and Human Needs Fund Coordinator Beth Harlow - gathered around the commemorative Christmas tree in front of the Town Hall with supporters. Photo by Lisa Stone.

The East Hartford Woman’s Club is continuing its seasonal tradition of helping the community through its Human Needs Fund. On Dec. 9, the group gathered in front of the Town Hall and sang Christmas carols before dedicating the Tree of Light to all the loved ones that were being honored and remembered by the community. The Woman’s Club is a proud member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. The 2013 Tree of Lights was part of East Hartford’s Holiday Fest.

“We offer the chance for loved ones to honor the memory of someone by donating $5 to sponsor a light on the Christmas tree that is on the Town Hall’s front yard,” said Kathy Kurniawan, vice president of the East Hartford Woman’s Club and chairperson of the tree-lighting event. “We normally have the tree on the Raymond Library’s lawn, but since the library is undergoing renovations, we had a tree placed on the front lawn of the Town Hall. We will continue to have this collection through December 31.”

The group has been doing this fundraiser since 1988. Over the years, the organization has helped several families in their time of need. The Woman’s Club sponsors the event and the money goes to the East Hartford Interfaith Ministries Human Needs Fund. The donations are primarily used through the fuel bank, but there have been times that the money has been used to help families with medical bills. “People come to me with requests for help,” said Human Needs Fund Coordinator Beth Harlow. “I make sure that there is a true need for help and make the judgment call based on that. We like to help as many people as possible.”

Mayor Marcia Leclerc was on hand at the tree-lighting ceremony. “This is a great organization and they do a great deal of good in the community,” said Leclerc. “It is fantastic that they have been doing this for 25 years. Every community has its special needs and East Hartford is no different. I am very thankful that this organization is so helpful to our people in need.”

The East Hartford Beautification Committee’s chairperson, Patricia Sirois, is on a quest to improve the general appearance of the town. Having a brightly-lit Christmas tree on the front of the Town Hall definitely adds to the beauty of the town, as well as increasing the holiday spirit of the community.

To make a donation to the Human Needs Fund, mail a check to Kathy Kurniawan, 20 Holland Drive, East Hartford, CT 06118.


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